Growlygracepress's Blog

grinning like an alsatian
August 31, 2013, 11:49 am
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This book is the result of a great deal of practice and of learning how I make mistakes. There is misplaced emphasis on not how we learn where much more interesting is learning how I failed. In the course of getting to here I must have attempted to make this book over 50 times. Actually it’s a lot more because I when I was failing I would be making 5 or 10 at a time. My learning strategy was so busted that I could do was repeat the same mistakes again and again.

What changed for me this time was the digital callipers.


I got the Goldielocks book and really examined it. I resisted the strong urge to rip it down to it’s parts.



And then I just turned every thing down. All the parts were made as thinly as possible with out losing strength.
(the spring on the spine of top book does need some remedial work. I made the spring from layers of 50% cotton, some bank, some laid and a hand made craft and I need it to be a bit stronger)

I was also helped by the finding of a carrier bag full of off cuts that I had put aside for printing on. So I had another shot at it and got this.


I don’t care that it’s not got it’s cover on all I want to be able to do is the structure.










When I get it right.
February 16, 2012, 11:18 am
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I have always been happy that a book I have made for a commission has been to the best of my abilities and that I have committed myself and the materials to make what the client instructs. If it I had a sense of failure I would not take the payment. All my best work is in clients hands.

What I have is a bit slush pile of finished and incomplete books, experiments that were never finished. I whittle them down and bin them every so often. So this process has yielded books that I am naturally selecting because they please me in some way.

The book with the Lindisfarne lettering on it works beautifully and I have held on to it because it I asked for and took advice about how to do the “on-lay” and I followed the advise to the letter! The leather is pared to almost the point of transparency so it looks like paint stroke.

The natural line of the edge of the leather works and the marble paper works.

I should do more of this.

The two little books with no covers were initially made for an artist, I had previously made her books that had big long leather ties on them as a security device at an exhibition and I noticed one day that she had bound the books together with the ties. I decided to make her what I called “umbilical books” that these little books could be connected like twins.

But I liked them so much I kept them and I like them because with out there leather they look great, functional and industrial.

I should do more of this.

I did actually. The book with the flower on is partly a response to seeing the arty farty books at the Designer Bookbinders exhibition, it’s me having a bash at graphics rather than type and it’s all rightish but I couldn’t eat a whole one.

Whats good about it is that the binding method, for a “ledger” that book is neat, sweet and petite.

I make big fearsome books they could be used as weapons.

I need to do more like this.

And Soetsu Yanagi (go look him up) is going to give me a map.